Turning content ideas into great content. Content marketing part 5

Having identified the sources for content the next step is turning content ideas into great content that will engage with your target audience. And I think that this is where most marketing departments struggle.  They don’t struggle from a creative point of view but more from the pace and volume that is required for good content marketing.

It’s why you often read about good content marketing behaviour being like publishing and not broadcast marketing.  In the news business, getting and publishing content every day is business critical. If you fail to deliver, the audience will switch provider without even a backward glance. This is the lesson that good content marketing businesses have learned.

So how do you do it?

I think  the planning process and having a  content team are both critical to delivering great content on a consistent basis. As mentioned in the previous blog, engaging with the internal organisation is an important source for content ideas. But it’s also important to involve the right people both internally and externally in content generation and distribution. Typically this could include the idea generator, the content creator, a graphic designer, the managing editor, the SEO team, the social media team, the legal department and PR.

As you can see for a large organisation there may be many stakeholders involved in the content creation and distribution process and that’s why the editorial plan is so important.  To create an editorial plan we need to go back and look at the issues that are of concern to a persona at each stage of the buying cycle (conversion funnel) to determine the content topics. If we know the topics then we can begin to generate content around those topics. Understanding this means that we can begin to plan the type of content required and importantly:

  • What is the content idea to address each topic for each stage of the buying process?
  • Who is going to generate it?
  • What type of content is required? – webpage, blog, video, e-book, webinar etc.
  • What resources are required to deliver the content?
  • When is it required for?
  • Who needs to approve it?

If we can answer the above we can then begin to plot what content is going to be delivered and when on our planner.

As an example it might look something like:

Persona –Paul, 28 years old, works from home as an independent selling agent of light industrial goods 
Buying Stage Issue Topic Idea Content Type Input Due
Non aware Concern that he is not up to speed with latest technology developments in his sector Thought leadership on latest technology industry developments Research showing trends of where technology is heading for the sector Blog (or maybe infographic) showing the industry/technology trends. Internal marketing dept./ external research company and graphics agency if required 7 June
Aware Doesn’t want to have to deal with too many suppliers Info on company/agent relationship Case Study highlighting benefits Video case study of existing selling agent Marketing
Script writing
Video company
14 June
Interest Wants help in finding prospects Training on reaching target audience Using LinkedIn as a prospecting tool Webinar showing how to use the search feature of LinkedIn Sales person who already uses LinkedInTechnical help in setting up websinar 21 June
Wants more information Looking for sales tools to help win business Promotions for agents Personalised sales literature Downloadable sales literature that can be personalised for selling agent Marketing
Graphics agency
Web technology
28 June
Wants to do business Wants to speak to people at appropriate stages of the selling cycle Different means of communication Choice for agent on how to get in touch Self select page on website where agent can choose preferred method of communication Web technology 7 June

I know this looks a bit daunting but think how busy your planner starts to look when you add the other personas!  It comes back to my point earlier about why traditional marketing departments struggle with both the volume and pace required to implement a content marketing strategy.  It is however in my opinion far better to flag the issue through the planning process which will highlight the resources required.

Next week I’ll look at the importance of the Content Team which will help to manage the content marketing strategy.

If you’ve missed any of the previous posts you can always catch up: Content marketing – What is it ? Part 1,  Why Now? Part 2,  10 steps to creating great content. Part 3, 3 sources for content ideas. Part 4

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